«. [By Httka.] C. J. Dickie, of Taranaki, has notified the New Zealand Association that he will be able to play in the team contest at Christmas, if picked. Dickie and Wallace are always practising on the asphalt, and will commence play on the grass as soon as possible. Misses Gore, Nicholson, Campbell, and Messrs. Swanstou, Laishley, and Gore, have so far not replied. DAVIS GUP CHALLENGE ROUND. The British Isles beat America easily in the challenge round for the Davis Cup at Wimbledon by five matches to love. Scores aa follows: — H. L. Doherty beat Halcombe Ward (Amticu), 6—2, B—6, 6—3; beat R, D. Little (America) 3—6,3 — 6, 6—3,6 — 3, 6—B,6 — 8, 6—l, 6—3. S. H. Smith beat Ward, 6—l, 6—o, 6—4; beat Little 6—4, 6—4, 6—l. R. F. and H. L r Doherty beat H. Ward and R. D. Little, 5—6, 11—9, 9—7, 6—l. Smith was too good for Little from tne start, and soon led 4—l. Thou the American executed a, sequence of brilliant cio^a-court drives and forehand volleys, and made it four all. But this effort proved but a flash in the pan, and in n'ity minutes from the start the match was over. Smith's returns off the service were distinctly paying ; instead of driving dynamically down the court, as is his wont, he shot the ball obliquely in to the side line about three yards Irom the net. Little was repeatedly hoodwinked by this campaign , it was 60 gentle, yet bo unexpected. A. tennis enthusiast from Wellington, who witnessed the match, was disappointed in Smith's play — he had heard much about Smith's lightning drive, that always caused the ball to disappear with a flash ; but in this match never saw a fast drive, and declares that Laishley's drive is miles faster than anything he &aw. Then H. L. Doherty met Ward. Last year the little black-Haired New Yorker took the first two sets from Doherty, and had stupefied the crowd by a marvellous exhibition of ' crafty volleying. Doherty this year was prepared — had, in fact, thought out how to deal with Ward's attack, as, instead of attacking his man close up, or right back, and finding himself beaten by it short drop out of reach, he chose a middle course, and practically confined his play to tho service lino. Possibly no one but H. 1/ Doherty could have succeeded from that position — a position reckoned by all experts as a faulty one. Now and then, when Doherty saw an opening, he quietly ran in, and, with a subtlo wrist shot, scored. On the wholly he prepured to work out an evidently premeditated campaign, tho success oi which amply justified its inception. TAc first set went to Doherty 6—2. Ward went for the second set — he seemed tc know that the end must como quick!} unless he could win thin bout, co In spent himself freely, and brought of some marvellous shots on the run
| Doherty took the lead at 7—6, and won on Ward's service B—6.8 — 6. The third set was soon over, Doherty ■winning it 6—3.6 — 3. Doherty showed marvellous resource and excellent generalship throughout, (J)ut he made n, large number _ol double faults — three in one game, which is most unusual for him. The double 3 match followed — the Dohertys against Ward and Little. R. F. was off colour at first, but he improved as the match proceeded, and at the end 6howed quite his best form. Ward showed, his old brilliancy, and Little backed him up splendidly. H. L. Doherty was off colour for a time, but settled down to steady play, and then, when the pinch came, his play was safe. It was his brother's brilliancy that really proved the downfall of the Americans. America, took the first set 6—3, chiefly by lofty lobbing and Little's iitie cross-court shots. The excitement was keen, and everyone was wondering what was going to happen next, when +liere came a thunder-clap, and a pattering of hailstones on the zinc roof of the covered "stand. The rain fell in torrents, and the players and most of the officials were soon drenched to the skin. The umpire's pencil ran witli water, and the scoresheet quickly became a piece of flimsy pulp, but the match went on. The English pair donned shoes with "steel points." America led 5—5 — 3 — then more rain — and 5-all was called. Nine-all was called, then the Dohevtys took the lead. America, with Little's service, got to 40 love, but lost game and -set 11-— 9. The third set saw even play up to 7-all, the games going with the service ; then Little lost his service, and the Englishmen won on the next game — 9—7.9 — 7. Tho fourth and last set was one-sided, th* Dohertys doing as they liked — set 6—l6 — 1 and match. The Americans lobbed for nil they were worth, and nevei 1 gave the brothers a chance to low-volley them at the net. If Little ox ' Ward got on to any high stuff, nothing more ' was seen of the ball until it was fished ! out of the crowd — it would hit the court, and simply disappear. R.P.s overhead was faulty at first, and H.L. seemed demoralised by the sequence of lobs. Little played the game ot his life — his overhead workj being smart and deadly, while his ground work had the sting and direction of a master, His low volleying was at fault, and the Dohertys shot balls at his feet as he advanced, thereby winning many points. Ward did the coaching, and it was his fine generalship that made the American attack so deadly, and yet so subtle. He saved the high bounding smashes of« R. F. Doherty's in a most wonderful manner — picking up the ball on the ropes, and tossing it back in great style. The Americans won 23 games to their victors' 29. Smith beat Ward somewhat easily — his driving was most accurate, and he passed hie opponent as he liked. ' Ward's service did not trouble the Englishman in the least. Ward made effort in the third set and led 3—l,3 — 1, but after score was called 4 all, Smith ran out a winner. , Little caused a sensation in his match against H. L. Doherty. Little was in great form, and with his splendid backhand drive, passed the Englishman repeatedly when ho came up to the net. Little won first set 6—3,6 — 3, but Doherty, with some fine play, made it set all, by taking second set 6—3. The Englishman led 5—35 — 3 in the next set, but Little evened at 5 all, and eventually won at B—6. Then Doherty rushed the, net in the fourth set and won at 6*— l. Then came the final — Little caused great excitement by leading 3—l3 — 1 and 30—15 on his own service, but the champion was not to be denied, and with some marvellous play took set 6—36 — 3 and match. 'The British Itles thus retained tho Davis Cup winning five matches to nil, 15 sets to 3, 112 games to 69. CONTINUED PROMINENCE OF A. F. WILDING. A. F. Wilding, who has, by the way; successfully passed his examination and been, called to the Bar, still holds his own against most of the cracke. He is considered about the fifth plavev in order of merit — the two Dohertys, Smith and Riseley are at present ranked in front of him, but he is considered by those who are supposed to know the coming champion — may bo next year or the year after. The general opinion in England is that should Australasia send Wilding and Brooks after the Davis Cup next year, it is almost certain to come to the colonies Wilding will probably leave for the colonies with his father, on the 4th of October, but there is every possibility that he will go back to England in 1907 to have "another cut" at the championships held in June. At Leicester, for the championship of Europe, Wilding was beaten by Riseley in the semi-final 6—4,6 — 4, 6—3.6 — 3. Ir the third round Wilding beat Eaves 6—4,6 — 4, 4—6,4 — 6, 6—4.6 — 4. Gore and Wilding gave the Dohertys a great go in the doubles, and it was considered the finest doubles ever seen in England. Gore and Wilding took first set 9—7,9 — 7, and came within one point of winning the match, but the Dohertys, with their marvellous stolidity, pulled the match out of the fire, winning the second set at 10 — 9, and the third at 6—4.6 — 4. The Dohertys beat Riseley and Kreigh Collins — the latter is the American player — 6—4,6 — 4, o—6,0 — 6, 6—2.6 — 2. In the mixed doubles Miss Longhurst and Wilding beat Miss Sutton and H. L. Doherty in the second round 3—6,3 — 6, & — 3, 6—4;6 — 4; beat Miss Pinkney and Hillyard in the third round 6—o,6 — 0, 6—l;6 — 1; and won final from Miss Lowther and Eaves 6—3,6 — 3, 6—2.6 — 2. Miss Pinckney Hillyard beat Miss Eastlake Smith and R. F. Doherty in ■ v the second round 6- -3, 6—l.6 — 1. The contest between Mfcs Sutton and Doherty v. Mis 3 Longhurst and Wilding is described as being an admirable spectacle, which kept the audience of 2000 in a fever of excitement. Miss Longhurst drove with beautifu 1 accuracy between the two champions, and Wilding finished matters , oft at the net. The New Zealander puzzled Miss Sutton with his reverse twist service, and the American cham- , pion, standing right up to the net, missed many of Wilding's severe drives. ( Wilding won the championship of Aus- , tria. at Prague, beating Ritchie in the final 7—5, 2—6, 7—5, 6—3. Tho New Zealander has so far taken part- in no less than sixteen tournaments this year — easily a record. i ALL COMERS SINGLES. In tho All England Championship Singles sixty-nine entries were received, and Wilding beat Fasbery 6—l,6 — 1, 6—o,6 — 0, 6—l6 — 1 in second round; beat Hough 6—o,6 — 0, 6—3,6 — 3, 6—26 — 2 in third round; beat Beamish 6—l,6 — 1, 6—3,6 — 3, 6—46 — 4 in fourth round ; beat . Ritchie 6—4, 6—l,6 — 1, 4—6, 3—6,3 — 6, ,6—2 ir fifth round; but the New Zealander fell '. to Gore in the semi-final. Wilding' and Ritchie had won twe rounds of the Doubles when the mail left ! Details of the above matches, some in 1 tereeting items from the Prague tourna j ment, and the promised comments upoi ( tho match ' Miss Douglas v. Miss Suttoi are crowded out, but will be given next > week. t t 1 The passion of bridge, which causes ii I to pervade conversation among the enthu r siasts, is illustrated by the followint story : — A father died, having expresses i a wish that his body should be cremated i His two daughters* oho were enthusias 7 , tic bridge players, did not like the idei f nt nil, and yet did not quite like to rui a counter to his wishes by burying him ii I the ordinary way. They discussed tin 0 matter in all its bourings, and finally thi y elder, who was tho less decided of tin c two, said — "I leave it to you." "Then,' Ef said the younger, who wa3 the etronge: 1 character." "I make it spades."
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